For the second time in as many races, Jarno Trulli and came to blows in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos at the weekend - only this time it was the Frenchman who came off worst.

The pair had already collided at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai a fortnight earlier, precipitating Trulli's early retirement, but the Italian was well clear of Bourdais in S?o Paulo until the change-over to slick tyres enabled the record-breaking former Champ Car star to come into play.

As Trulli grappled around for grip - the Toyota never at its most comfortable on a damp surface in 2008, as also evinced by team-mate Timo Glock's dramatic last lap time loss - Bourdais was able to dive past, but when the Italian attempted to regain the place into turn one a handful of laps later, he went in too deep and forced the Scuderia Toro Rosso ace to scamper across the grass and quite literally rally-cross his way back onto the circuit again.

Whilst Trulli went on to take the chequered flag eighth to snatch the final point of the season, Bourdais was less fortunate, ultimately coming home 14th - and left to bemoan his rival's actions again as his seat in Formula 1 in 2009 remains on the line.

"I had a fairly good start, holding my position," the 29-year-old explained, "but after the switch to dry tyres the car was a bit difficult to drive. Timo passed me, benefiting from a mistake I made. We caught [Giancarlo] Fisichella, but I couldn't get a good exit out of the final turn so couldn't pass.

"This allowed the others to close on me. Jarno decided to go for it, which was fine, except he out-braked himself and pushed me towards the grass and I lost six places. It's the second time in a row that Jarno has upset my race.

"After that, I was stuck in traffic with some graining, and I was unable to attack anyone as I continued not to get the last corner right. At the end, the team gambled on heavy rain and put me on extreme wets, so I lost another position to [Robert] Kubica on intermediates. Not a great weekend!"

"It was an eventful race," agreed Trulli. "We had a good start and the first laps were pretty good, when I was following Felipe Massa. It started to dry up and we went for dry tyres. Unfortunately I got stuck behind Fisichella who was much slower than me. I didn't have the top speed to overtake him so I lost a lot of time over those laps.

"As soon as I got away from him I was one of the quickest on the track; I was recovering quite a lot and closing the gap to the guys in front, but it was not enough. When it rained we took the choice to stay on dry tyres and we got a point. Having started second we missed an opportunity, but overall we have had a good championship and I am pretty happy with that. Now we are aiming to make even bigger progress for next year.

"Finally I would like to say that my five years working with [team manager] Richard Cregan have been fantastic, and I wish him all the best with his new career."

The duo's respective team principals Franz Tost (STR) and Tadashi Yamashima (Toyota) both similarly rued the loss of a strong opportunity to score - and score big - around the Autodromo Carlos Pace, but equally have their sights set on a 2009 campaign that yields even more success still.

"Bourdais was unlucky to collide with his old friend Trulli," remarked Tost, with a trace of irony. "This cost him the chance to score another point for us. The team did a fantastic job and ran an effective strategy.

"It's a shame the season is ending, because for the last few races Scuderia Toro Rosso has shown a very strong performance, and we would have liked to continue in this manner. I thank both drivers, well done to the entire team - both here and back in the factory - and thanks also to Red Bull. We are already looking forward to the 2009 season."

"Clearly we came in with high hopes for Jarno after his excellent qualifying," acknowledged Yamashima, "but the weather didn't work in his favour. There was a problem at his first pit-stop and he lost some time, so that cost him position. He did well to score a point in difficult conditions.

"Overall it is good to finish a positive season for us with a double points finish. We are happy with the progress we have made, but our ambitions are higher than this and we want to make more progress. Now we can head into the winter with confidence that we can take another step in 2009."


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